From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Dr. Graham:
When people speak of the Minor Prophets in the Bible, what does that mean, and why are these 12 short books so important today?
Dear S.B.: The last 12 books of the Old Testament are collectively known as the Minor Prophets. In them we see the name and voice of Almighty God and His message to the world of the last days.
Studying names and numbers in Scripture is boring to some, but they carry great significance. The number 12 in Scripture is an eternal number.
From Genesis to Revelation we learn of the 12 patriarchs, 12 sons, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 judges, 12 gates, 12 stones, 12 fruits, 12 angels, 12 apostles, 12 stars, and a heavenly city 12 thousand furlongs square. The Bible also tells us that after Jesus’ birth, nothing more is revealed about Him until He reached the age of 12, when His first words on earth were recorded. Jesus told those who had been looking for Him, “I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). This number is also foreshadowed when 12 thousand from each of the 12 tribes of Israel will be saved and evangelize the world in the last days.
These Minor Prophets are not so named because they are in training or because they are of less value than prophets such as Isaiah or Ezekiel. Nor are the 12 books minor in message. They are minor in terms of brevity only; but they are power-packed messages from men whom God appointed and called to deliver His warnings of judgments and His ever-faithful invitation to Israel and its neighbors, saying, “Return to Me.” They provide an important study for those who truly desire to understand the end times. These prophecies will be fulfilled when the Eternal One comes back to earth. His name is Jesus.